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A Gallatin County man is accused of falsely filling out a voter registration form under the name “Miguel Raton” — Spanish for Mickey Mouse — in an effort to prove how easy it was to commit voter fraud.

Michael Winters is charged with felony tampering with public records or information. He has not been served with the complaint, according to court records.

Prosecutors filed the charges in Gallatin County District Court on Feb. 4. There were no defense attorneys listed in the court records.

The case comes months after a hotly contested presidential election, one where former president Donald Trump baselessly claimed that, if he lost, it was likely due to systemic voter fraud. Election officials have said there was no significant evidence of fraud in the November elections, and Congress later certified president Joe Biden as the winner.

In June 2020, someone filed an online complaint with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission against Winters, claiming that he filed a false voter registration application under the name “Miguel Raton.”

The person later told an FBI agent that Winters had talked about voter fraud issues and wanted to prove how easy it was to commit voter fraud, court documents say. Winters told the informant that he specifically used the Spanish name for Mickey Mouse.

The informant said Winters then received the ballot under the name “Miguel Raton,” court documents say.

In July, Gallatin County elections manager Casey Hayes confirmed to the FBI agent that the office had received a voter registration application from “Miguel Raton.” Hayes gave the agent a copy of the voter registration form that requested an absentee ballot be mailed to an address in Four Corners.

Hayes told the agent that the registration status was listed as provisional after information on the application didn’t match up with information listed in the state’s voter database. If a provisional ballot is returned, Hayes said, election officials don’t process or count it until the voter resolves the issue.

Hayes told the agent that two ballots for separate elections sent to “Raton” were not returned to the elections office.

In August, the FBI agent went to the address listed on the registration form and found Winters.

Winters admitted he falsely filled out the form to show how easy it was to submit voter registration that was fraudulent, court documents say. He said he didn’t think “anyone would follow up on it.”

Winters said he combined his driver’s license number and Mickey Mouse’s birthday to fill out the registration form. The ID number belonged to a Missoula resident, and Winters said that was unintentional and that he didn’t know that person.

Winters told the agent he pinned the two ballots he received to the wall of his shop as “trophies.” He allowed the agent to remove the ballots from the wall.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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